Tuesday, April 30, 2013

To Sing Frogs -A Memoir by John M. Simmons (Book review)

Disclosure: I was given advance review copy to read in order to facilitate a review of the book. The opinions expressed are totally mine, and mine only!

Oh my gosh, is what I thought when I first started reading this book a few weeks ago!! And yes, it was a good oh my gosh! I felt like I was in the room with Amy and John, when they first met up with a social worker in their state when they wanted to adopt. I could imagine Amy's expressions on her face when John was voicing his opinions to the social worker about not wanting a foster child and not wanting a special needs child. Amy, the wife, had been a product of foster homes, and she had turned out to be just fine.  Fast forward just a bit, and they were connected with a group who assisted with international adoptions--- in Russia! (Bear in mind, they already had 3 of their own biological children--boys-- and had adopted Jack, a special needs child with Down's syndrome.) They applied to be able to adopt 3 children from Russia.  John and Amy went to Russia and met Stass and Anya, who would be assisting them and taking them to meet children at the orphanages. They met Katya and Luba who were sisters at 2 different orphanages, and Kirrill, a little boy at another orphanage.

Throughout the book, I read about their initial meeting with the children, and how Katya was burned and scarred. Luba loved her orphanage "mother", and Kirrill was sick. Katya had friends named Marina and Julia at the orphanage---- I can't give too much away of John's and Amy's story!!! I will tell you that they do adopt all three children, Katya, Luba, and Kirrill, and one of Luba's and Katya's older siblings. They jump through many loops after the initial visit as they are trying to bring the children home on another visit. Delays occur, and frustration mounts, but things work out! Prayers are answered, and mountains are conquered, so to speak! Experiences occur in the book that many of us would take for granted, to say the least! Family moves and trips abroad occur as the years go by, and their oldest son becomes a Mormon Missionary and goes to Spain. Spain has some importance in the book, and that is all I will tell you!

To summarize my opinion of the book... I loved it! I laughed and cried with them throughout  Amy's and John's journeys! When I had to put the book down for a couple days, I wanted to get right back to it, to find out more about what was happening on the next page or in the next chapter! Though Steve and I never adopted any children, this book made me wish that we were younger and could adopt a child or two!  I can't stop praising this book! I highly recommend that you read the book when it comes out on the market! If you read any book this summer, put this book at the top of your list!

* An important piece of information for you to know is that John will be donating all of the profits from the sale of To Sing Frogs to the Ele Lembra Foundation.
To find out more information about Ele Lembra Foundation, please go to: Ele Lembra Foundation

To find out more about Program Chance, please go to: Program Chance

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oransi Ionic Air Purifier for Refrigerator (Review and Giveaway) (ends May 7th, USA only)

Disclosure: I was given an air purifier in order to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Do you worry about your refrigerator smelling? *Hands raising* I know that we do in my household, especially if Steve's cut part of an onion and is saving the other part to use in a few days wrapped up.
Well, there's a product out on the market that will help solve this problem with smelly refrigerators! It's
the Oransi Ionic Air Purifier for the Refrigerator! We've been testing our for at least 3+ weeks now, and
our fridge has been odor-free. I decided to put it on a busy shelf in our fridge, where the bread and beer and other miscellaneous items are kept. I just went and checked to see if I smelled anything before I posted this, and all I smelled was a clean smell emitting from the inside of our refrigerator!

I do want to share some information with you about the Oransi Ionic Air Purifier for the Refrigerator:
* Eliminate food odors in your refrigerator
* Kill bacteria
* Reduce food spillage
* Prevent mildew
* Sterilize fridge every 2 hours
* Neutralize stale and foul odors with fresh air inside refrigerator, closets

It's silent, and runs on 2 "AA" batteries for about 45 to 90 days. There are no filters to change or replace. It comes in an attractive and neutral color. It comes with :Patented Piezo-electric technology: allows for a high negative ion output to freshen your refrigerator without the harmful side effects of ozone that is found in standard ionizers. The average cost to run it is about $1 a month! A built-in micro-chip tells it when to turn off and on.Safety----the ionic air purifier has received safety certifications GS and CE as well as the RoHS lead free directive.   It's size allows you to put it anywhere in the fridge!

Forgive me, I'm having issues getting back to regular size type!! My take on it: It's kept our fridge smelling fresh, and we've had less food spoilage. We had some spinach stay fresh in the fridge for well over a week, and I'm not sure why Steve threw it out (other than he must have not checked it!). I like the size of it, small and compact, and it seriously doesn't take up hardly any room on the shelf at all! 

For  more information, you can check out Oransi.  Oransi can be purchased at and at and it qualifies for free shipping at

Now for the Rafflecopter giveaway! (NO P.O. BOXES, please, per request from sponsor!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sorry for lack of posts this past week!

I'm not sure what's been going on with me lately! It feels like a bit of extreme exhaustion, when I just want to come home from work in the mornings, and just curl up on the sofa and vegetate for a bit before going to bed. It might be the recent change in meds from the endocrinologist or it could just be my fibromyalgia and a bit of arthritis! I'm trying to get more rest, and my blog suffered a bit in the last two weeks from it. I do have to work tonight, and plan to do some posting, along with spend time with the hubby and son this weekend. I even missed mentioning my husband's and my 24th wedding anniversary on April 15th, Tax Day! Happy belated, honey! And my Aunt Helen who doesn't have net access had her 75th birthday on this past Monday, happy belated birthday to you! 

I want to thank all of you who are patient and continue to read my ramblings and posts, A BIG THANK YOU to you all!

Nuturing the Soul of Your Family-- 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life by Renee Peterson Trudeau (Review)

Disclosure: I was given a copy of Renee Trudeau's book to read and to review, and the opinions expressed were my own!

I have been blessed with reading several great books this year, and they have been ones where I totally felt like I was there nodding "yes, I can relate to that!" Sometimes, I wasn't sure if it was because I was a bit older than her and had been through similar circumstances that she had in my own family, or it was because I was a parent, too! And it didn't matter what faith I was, as I read the book, because I could  apply what I read to circumstances in my life with my husband and son. I was eager to learn more and found each chapter to be a learning experience! Most of the time that I was spending reading her book was spent in doctor's offices for a few weeks, and many of my "aha" moments occurred there, too.

Here are a few things that you will learn as you read Renee's book:
 * find your center and move through chaos and uncertainty with renewed strength and ease

* live every day aligned with your values and what matters most

* slow down, tap the wisdom of your wise self, and know what's best for you and your family

* release old habits, fears, and anxieties as you explore a new way of being

* access more joy by living in the present moment (the best antidote to stress!)

*experience more freedom and unscheduled time

Some sections that I found interesting where when she encouraged one to cultivate curiosity and to listen without judgement, and sometimes those are two areas that are hard for me. Her book is definitely  a think and talk about things book, and in turn, you do find ways of reconnecting with yourself and others within your family. She helps us in the book with providing tools which we can use to learn from. With me, I am an on-going project, and there is always room for change (and I will say the same for my son and my husband!

Have I said that I recommend the book? I'm saying it right now, that it's definitely on my list of "I highly recommend it!"! Sometime during the summer, I'm aiming to re-read it!

I have some links for you to check out for more information!

Renee on Facebook   

Renee on twitter

And if you want to purchase her book, you can purchase it at .

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some thoughts about yesterday...

I'm sending prayers towards those in Boston and those who have family and friends who may have been affected by yesterday's tragedy. I didn't find out till the wee hours of this morning at work about what had happened yesterday, I didn't have the news or social media on last night before work. When I saw it on the news in my residents' rooms and heard my co-workers talking about it, I was in shock, to say the least. I can't believe what has happened. We've got to be proud of out First Responders and those who helped with the injured and the people who died.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Guest Post: Ten Processed Food Alternatives Kids Will Love ---- from

Disclosure: Guest post from found originally on

Convincing kids to eat healthier foods is a challenge for most parents, and a battle that can be very difficult to win at times. If you’re having vegetable issues with the kids, there are ways to hide those vitamin-packed foods so that the kids will never suspect they are eating healthily. Processed foods are loaded with sugar and preservatives that are unhealthy for kids and adults alike, but they are quick and easy enough that it’s tempting to spring for the time-saving alternative from time to time. What you may not know is that there are quick and easy substitutes for healthy food as well. If you’re willing to do a little work ahead of time, you can serve your kids tasty foods that are good for them instead of their preservative-packed counterparts. Here are some ideas to get you started.
  1. Opt for Homemade Granola Over Pre-Packaged Cereals – It doesn’t take much to mix together old fashioned oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, nuts, spices, honey and no-sugar-added applesauce to create delicious batch of granola for the kids. One of the perks of homemade granola is that you get to add the flavors your kids enjoy while avoiding preservatives and additives. Milk turns your homemade granola into a breakfast cereal, while mixing it with yogurt makes it a healthy and substantial snack.
  2. Skip Breakfast Bars and Toaster Treats – Both are good for quick fixes in the morning, but are they good for you? Substitute whole wheat toast with a nut butter or an all fruit, no-sugar added spread. It’s fast, nutritious and just as tasty.
  3. Freezing Homemade Pancakes – Commercially-frozen pancakes don’t taste nearly as good as the whole grain pancakes you can make yourself. You can whip up a large batch of the tasty cakes and put them in freezer bags to pull out when you need them. Since you are the one making them, you know exactly what they contain, and you can be sure your kids are getting healthy food without chemical additives
  4. Choose Fruit Over Syrup – Pancake syrup might be tasty, but anything other than pure maple syrup is filled with chemicals, flavoring additives and preservatives. Try substituting pureed fruit or one of the many all-fruit spreads available without the added sugar. Another tasty topper is natural applesauce.
  5. Make Your Own Pasta Sauce – Have you ever noticed how spaghetti usually tastes better the second day? Make your own pasta sauce from scratch and you will eliminate all the preservatives and excess sugar. Make enough to freeze dinner-sized portions and you will have instant meals for busy days.
  6. Cut Out Canned Pasta – Opening a can of pasta is quick and easy, and kids love those little “o’s” and alphabet letters. You can make those quick and easy meals healthy by purchasing fun pasta shapes and combining them with your homemade pasta sauce. Freeze child size portions and you have plenty of meals ready to just heat and serve.
  7. Make Your Own Lunch Kits –Kids love tearing into those lunches with crackers, deli meat, cheese and some kind of sugary treat. You can create the same effect using healthy ingredients and adding fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole grain crackers, organic cheese and your kids’ favorite treats still allow them to stack and assemble lunch, just without the added chemicals. Try carrot chips as a substitute for greasy potato chips.
  8. Choose Fruit and Vegetable Bread Over Cakes – Every now and then, cake and other sweets are a nice treat. Still, a steady diet of such fare is not good for you. Substituting quick breads like banana bread or zucchini bread can be a healthy alternative, especially when they’re made with a health-conscious recipe. A little softened cream cheese with fruit makes a nice topping.
  9. Make Mini Pizzas – Instead of the fat-laden, commercially-frozen pizza, offer your kids the opportunity to make their own mini pizzas. All you need are some whole wheat English muffins, a little marinara sauce, low fat cheese and any other toppings they’d like to add. Pile on the good stuff and bake in the oven until the cheese is a nice golden-brown. These little pizzas are easy and fun to make, the kids will love them and you’ll have the pleasure of knowing that your kids are eating healthily. For variety, you can make morning pizzas by adding scrambled eggs as a topping. Give it even more flair by using salsa and crumbled turkey or chicken sausage.
  10. Pass on the Cookies – Cookies are an easy snack to reach for when little tummies rumble, but they’re also full of empty calories. A healthy alternative that kids will enjoy includes mini rice cakes with banana slices and peanut butter in between. When you use natural, no-sugar-added peanut butter, you have a healthy, protein rich snack.
Part of making the change to healthy substitutes is not saying anything about what’s being substituted. Just offer the alternative as you would any other food, and soon you will find your kids eating healthy foods without complaining. Ideally, starting your kids off early in life with less sugar and bad fats means a much healthier childhood, but it’s never too late to change. It may take a little time to get older kids on board, but modeling good eating habits yourself and getting them involved in helping make the meals will go a long way towards advancing your cause.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Realia, Julie, and Donna were the winners for the New Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent coupons. Congrats, ladies! You have been e-mailed and now have 48 hours in which to e-mail me your name and mailing address!

"A Hero's Throne" by Ross Lawhead (Review)

Disclosure: I was given the book by BookSneeze in order to facilitate my review, and the opinions expressed were my own!

I reviewed the first book of Ross Lawhead's The Ancient Earth Trilogy in the past two years, it was "The Realms Thereunder".  I was lucky to get the opportunity to read the second book in his trilogy recently called "A Hero's Throne". Until I read this book, I did not know that Ross was the son of Stephen Lawhead, another author whose audio book I had also reviewed. That was quite interesting to know, and they both write fantasy fiction. Anyhow, back to Ross' 2nd book in this series... it's about 320 pages long, but you don't realize it when you are so absorbed in the book! (I was taking it with me to appointments, and got totally immersed in it each time I picked it back up!)

As the second book starts, Daniel and Freya gather with a few other people, and go through the portals back into the land of Nidergeard. Things have changed a lot since they left Nidergeard eight years ago, and now their help is needed. The dark forces have taken over, and the sleeping knights and others are being killed. Daniel and Freya get involved in different areas, in helping rally the remaining people into action to save Nidergeard. Something happens to Daniel along the journey in the other realm, but I don't want to divulge too much. Freya helps to awaken Modwyn, after removing a sword from her chest.  Children in in our realm are being taken, through various ways, by selkies, giants, and mermaids into the other world. These children are what we'd probably call outcasts, or those who wouldn't be missed if they were to disappear. I was somewhat confused at first why these children and teens were disappearing. That kind of creeped me a bit, until towards the end of the book.  I don't want to give too much away about the book, hoping that you'll read it! I'm definitely looking forward to reading the third book in the trilogy! I seriously recommend the book if you are into fantasy fiction, and suggest that you start out with the first book!

Friday, April 5, 2013

NEW Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent Review and Giveaway (US Only, ends 4/12/13)

I love exotic fruit smells, like my favorite Pineapple Dole Whip Float from Magic Kingdom at WDW. And, I like pina coladas! So, I was really excited to try the NEW Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent!! It's a tropical splash in your washer and in your laundry room!  WOW!! (I think that if you've been following my blog for awhile that when I use my exclamation points, I'm excited about something!)

Let me give you a bit of information about this awesome product:

*it has hypoallergenic and dye-free formula which is great for those with sensitive skin.

*it has a fresh, nature inspired fragrance!!

* it packs the cleaning power of Purex with DirtLift Action!!

* it is available in 50 oz, 75 oz, and 100 oz sizes!!

*Its biodegradable promotes green cleaning practices!

Use the store locator to find retailers in your area that carry this product:
Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent

I'm so glad that it's carried in my area! I am also glad that it's a part of the Purex #1 selling Natural Elements brand, which delivers the bright, white and clean that I do expect from Purex. We've been using Purex for years, ever since Steven was younger, and it's kept our clothes clean.

I think that I was the first one in our family to use the bottle that we received for the review, and I loved the scent the immediate moment that I opened the bottle! I forgot to mention to you that you can use the liquid laundry detergent in HE washers, and that was important to me, too, since we have a front-loading washer. I either watched jeans or towels for my first load with it, and it naturally cleaned our laundry! Odors and stains on the jeans went away, and the towels smelled great! I wished the I had taken pictures of the laundry that I washed with it, to post, but I'd be taking pictures everyday! My white and my blue nursing uniforms have come clean, along with all of our other laundry loads, especially our bird sheets that we cover the birds with at night. And if anything's dirty, it's the birds' sheets, and it gets them clean! Am I recommending the NEW Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash detergent, you ask? Of course!!!

Disclosure: "Purex" brand provided me with a sample of Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash detergent in exchange for a product review. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own.

Now onto my giveaway! Three lucky winner will each receive one coupon good for one free bottle of New Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash detergent (max value of $6.00).

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Winner, Winner, chicken dinner!

Michelle won the New Dial Coconut Water Body Wash giveaway. I've e-mailed her and she now has 48 hours to e-mail me back! Congrats!